Lawrence Brownlee Named Male Singer of the Year for the 2017 International Opera Awards
Lawrence Brownlee has been named Male Singer of the Year for the 2017 International Opera Awards for his achievements throughout 2016.
This past season, Brownlee sang title roles at Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Opéra de Paris and Bayerische Staastoper, released a new album of bel canto arias entitled Allegro Io Son on Delos that received critical acclaim, and sang the national anthem for the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens.
With more than 20,000 nominations made, the International Opera Awards sponsored by Mazars was selected by an international jury chaired by John Allison, editor of Opera magazine and classical music critic with The Daily Telegraph. The 2017 International Opera Awards was hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenter Petroc Trelawny and took place on Sunday 7 May at 6.30pm at the London Coliseum.
Hailed by the Associated Press as one of "the world's leading bel canto tenors," American-born Lawrence Brownlee captivates audiences and critics around the world. His voice, praised by NPR as "an instrument of great beauty and expression...perfectly suited to the early nineteenth century operas of Rossini and Donizetti," has brought him to the top of opera world, ushering in "a new golden age in high male voices" (The New York Times). His most recent recording of Virtuoso Rossini Arias was nominated for a GRAMMY™ Award, and prompted New Yorker critic Alex Ross to ask "is there a finer Rossini tenor than Lawrence Brownlee?"
One of the most in-demand singers around the world, Brownlee was recently nominated for "Male Singer of the Year" by the International Opera Awards. He has performed with nearly every leading international opera house and festival, as well as major orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Academia di Santa Cecila, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra.
His critically acclaimed discography and videography, which includes GRAMMY-nominated Virtuoso Rossini Arias, is a testament to his broad impact across the classical music scene. His opera and concert recordings include Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, Armida at the Metropolitan Opera, Rossini's Stabat Mater with Academia di Santa Cecilia, and Carmina Burana with the Berlin Philharmonic. He also released a disc of African-American spirituals entitled Spiritual Sketches with pianist Damien Sneed, which the pair performed at Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, and which NPR praised as an album of "soulful singing" that "sounds like it's coming straight from his heart to yours."
Brownlee is the fourth of six children and first discovered music when he learned to play bass, drums, and piano at his family's church in Youngstown, Ohio. He was awarded a Masters of Music from Indiana University and went onto win a Grand Prize in the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Alongside his singing career, Brownlee is an avid salsa dancer and an accomplished photographer, specializing in artist portraits of his on-stage colleagues. A die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers and Ohio State football fan, Brownlee has sung the National Anthem at numerous NFL games. He is a champion for autism awareness through the organization Autism Speaks, and he is a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity Inc., a historically black fraternity committed to social action and empowerment.